Effects of Vacuum Extraction on Your Newborn Baby

by David Zevan on Feb. 12, 2015

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Malpractice 

Summary: Some obstetricians may choose to use a vacuum extractor as a less riskier option than a cesarean section or a prolonged delivery.

There is a certain protocol when using such devices to ensure that there is no injury done to the newborn. If you believe the use of a vacuum extractor during your child’s birth was unnecessary or excessive and he or she is now suffering for it, ask a Missouri birth injury attorney if you and your child should pursue compensation for injury.

The Use of Vacuum Extractor

Vacuum extraction is used for the same reason as forceps during a birth. If the physician feels that the infant is in distress but is trying to avoid a cesarean section, the physician may use these devices to help extract the baby from the birth canal. A vacuum extractor is often the preferred method as it has very little risk of harming the mother.

The vacuum extractor is a cup like device that is placed on the back of the baby’s head while he or she is still inside of the birth canal. A tube either connects it to a suction device on the wall or to a manual suction pump. As the mother is instructed to push, the physician pulls gently as well, helping the baby through the birth canal. It does have some benefits over forceps as it can be used higher in the birth canal than forceps and it poses no harm to the mother. The major drawback is a potential for birth injury to the baby, which is why the standard practice is to only use it sparingly.

Excessive Use of Vacuum Extractor

This was the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit where the attending obstetrician disregarded the vacuum extractors manufacturers warning that the device only be used three times. The obstetrician used the vacuum extractor fifteen times in order to extract the baby from his mother’s birth canal. The child now has permanent brain damage as a result and will require special care for his entire life. A jury found that the physician did indeed stray from the standard of care after the third attempt at extraction failed and the obstetrician did not order an emergency cesarean section. They awarded the young child and his mother $19 million to ensure that he will have the lifetime care that he needs.

The Need for Lifetime Care

These types of cases can be heartbreaking as a child who had the potential for a normal life will now have to face a lifetime of necessary medical care. The extent and cost of that care should always be considered when the victim of any form of medical malpractice is now subject to a major decrease in their quality of life.

Talk with a birth injury attorney today if your child was harmed by the negligence of the doctors and nurses who delivered. Call Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC at (314) 588-7200. You are going to need all the help you can get in the coming years and that should start with your rightful compensation for your child’s suffering.

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